It was a packed house this weekend for the 2011 Western Australia Barista Competition that took place at Perth Town Hall. More people than ever before showed up to support fellow friends and baristas, or just to see what all the excitement was about. Now that the dust has settled we are going to put all modesty aside to announce how incredibly proud we are of our showing at this year’s competition.
In the Barista category, Head Trainer: Jeremy Hulsdunk had an electrifying performance and took first place amongst his peers. Jeremy walked away with a shiny new espresso machine and grinder, as well as an all expenses paid trip to the Gold Coast in January for the national competition.
Competitors in the Barista category must race the clock to prepare four espressos, four cappuccinos and four ‘signature drinks’ for a panel of judges in under 15 minutes. Participants are judged on not only the appearance and taste of their beverages, but also their technical skills and understanding of coffee as a whole.
After winning the WA event in 2005 and placing runner-up last year, Jeremy said that his goal this year with his signature drink was to bring things back to basics. His winning concoction was a three layered drink that consisted of espresso, crème anglaise and an apple blueberry reduction. Because of the incomparable quality of his espresso blend of Ethiopia Nekisse and Brazil Samambaia, Jeremy wanted to focus on the sweetness of the body and the contribution of the acidy to the high notes.
In the Cupping category of this year’s competition, Five Senses employees boast not only the first prize winner, but also the second and third.
Participants in the Cupping category are served eight sets of coffee, three cups in each set, and have to battle against the clock, as well as the other competitors, to identify the odd coffee in each set in the fastest time possible. Richard Austin, Five Senses roaster, took home the gold while Andrew Petrie, another one of our WABA trainers, finished with silver and Jen Murray, Five Senses’ customer support, left with the bronze.
In the first round, both Richard Austin and Jennifer Murray scored a perfect eight out of eight, putting pressure on each competitor in the final to not only get a good score, but also finish with a competitive time. Very exciting.
We are thrilled with the outcome of this year’s competition, which was hosted by AASCA, and we wish Jeremy and Rich all the best at the national level in January.